Secret Recipe Club

Y’all…it’s that time again.

Secret Recipe Club time.

This month I was absolutely delighted that my secret blogger was Kate, the lovely lady behind Kate’s Kitchen.

Kate is a financial planner who loves to cook. Her husband is also a professional sous chef, so obviously, I am super jealous.

I’m sure they just have amazing food ALL THE TIME!

Kate, can you come help me with my taxes? I will totally bake you a cake and we can eat it over a nice cup of coffee.

I’m pretty sure in all the years that I have been a member of this awesome group of food bloggers, I have yet to make something that isn’t a dessert.

Well, Kate’s broad recipe index opened up my mind to giving something other that cookies, cake, and pie a chance.

Oh, but you know it was something that I absolutely adore.


Not just any slaw.

Guacamole Slaw.

People, people…this is genius!

This is pretty much two of my favorite things in one…


and that’s ah-mazing.


I mean a slaw that you can eat w/ fajitas or barbecue…


well, that’s basically my life’s purpose.


This is as creamy as a coleslaw can get.


With greek yogurt & avocado…that’s one creamy smash-bang combo.


Plus, just look at all of those colors!


Plus, plus…this stuff is super healthy!


All those healthy fats from the avocados and veggies galore!


I promise that this is REAL LIFE.


You are not dreaming.


Plus, this takes about 10 minutes to make.


Are you sold yet?

5.0 from 1 reviews
Guacamole Slaw
Recipe type: Side/ Salad/Appetizer
Cuisine: American/Mexican
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
A creamy avocado based cabbage slaw with all of the flavors of guacamole. Gluten-free.
  • 1 large ripe avocado, mashed
  • ½ c. non-fat Greek yogurt
  • ½ c. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 small clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 package of shredded cabbage mix
  • 1 small lime, juiced
  • 1 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 t. ground cumin
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the avocado, yogurt, cilantro, garlic, onion, tomato, and jalapeno until smooth.
  2. Place the cabbage mix into a separate mixing bowl.
  3. Pour the lime juice and vinegar over the top.
  4. Add the cumin.
  5. Pour the avocado mixture over the cabbage and toss to combine.
  6. Season w/ salt and pepper, to taste.
  7. Chill in the fridge and serve right before eating.



Something Pumpkin.

We have been having a weather tease round’ these here parts.

Yea, let’s just be all 65 degrees & breezy for my morning runs, but by 9 o’clock, you can forget it…back up in the 90’s and I’m sticking to my driver’s seat like a sweaty pig in heat.

Whatever that means.

Anyway, I’m not letting this hot weather situation ruin my plans for cooking/baking cool weather dishes.

I told you that I’m gonna overload you with pumpkin recipes.

I’m lowering the boom slowly.


It’s not pie, I pinky promise.


Nope, it’s more of a sweet & savory pumpkin dish.


Imagine that.


This is my version of a sweet potato casserole, just without the sweet potato


because right now I’m obsessed w/ pumpkin.


Don’t worry sweet potato


your time will come.


So ya, garlic + maple syrup + mashed pumpkin


with a crunchy almond maple topping.


Hello, fall!


Let’s get up close & personal.


You can bet I’m making this for Thanksgiving.


Pumpkin is the new sweet potato.

Maple Garlic Pumpkin Crumble
Recipe type: Side/Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
Pumpkin mashed w/ garlic & maple syrup for a sweet/savory combo and topped off with a crunchy almond maple crumble topping. Gluten-free, vegan, paleo, refined sugar-free!
  • For the pumpkin mixture:
  • 2 15 oz. can pure, organic pumpkin puree
  • ¼ c. + 1 T. unsweetened, vanilla almond milk
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 T. + 1 t. pure maple syrup
  • ½ t. salt
  • For the crumble:
  • ¼ c. sliced, raw, almonds
  • 2 T. coconut sugar
  • 1 T. coconut flour
  • 2 T. almond flour
  • 1 T. melted coconut oil
  • 1 t. pure vanilla extract
  • ½ t. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ t. ground nutmeg
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an oval casserole dish with cooking spray.
  2. For the pumpkin mixture, mash everything together until you reach a smooth like consistency.
  3. Spread the pumpkin mixture into the prepared dish.
  4. For the crumble, combine all of the ingredients in a small mixing bowl using your hands, until a crumbly texture is reached.
  5. Distribute the topping evenly over the pumpkin.
  6. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until the topping is slightly golden.
  7. Let cool for 10 minutes.
  8. Serve warm.


Pancakes on my Mind…Mind on my Pancakes.

We might as well declare it “veggie zucchini week” here on Mangia.

Like Shark Week…but less blood shed 🙂

Anyhoo, so obvi (that’s an obnoxious way of saying obviously just in case you are oblivious like I usually am to shortened lingo) I have been obsessed with zucchini lately.

Heck, I’m obsessed with vegetables 24/7/365.

I like em charred…or grilled to a pulp.

I’m 100% sure that if you grill me a vegetable I only want to see a hint of color on it.

That’s just me.

I’ve been finding new and innovative ways to get my veggie fix at each meal.

Including breakfast.

Seeing as I’m obsessed with pancakes for breakfast, I thought why not have a savory pancake for breakfast?

I know…who am I?




I mean, usually for breakfast I would choose scrambled eggs slathered in homemade apple butter w/ a side of toasted coconut pancakes.

Butttttttttt think again.

I’m going to be seeing zucchini at most of my breakfast meals this week.

Oh, and basil…just because I bought my first basil plant at the Farmer’s Market this weekend.


Let’s see how long I can keep it alive.

Now, technically these pancakes don’t have to be eaten at breakfast.

I’ll most likely be switching it up, eating them at breakfast, or at other meals of the day.

This is a versatile pancake.

We serve these up w/ a tahini sauce sweetened w/ a touch of maple syrup and freshly squeezed orange juice.


Just think of it as a little sweet dipping sauce or a little sweet something you can slather over all of this savoriness.


These pancakes have a special place in my heart.


Adding new recipes to my daily meals is looking up. 🙂


Change is a good thing.




I just put zucchini into your pancakes.

Veggies in your breakfast…?

Yep. See what I did there? 🙂

Paleo Zucchini Basil Pancakes with Sweet Tahini Sauce
Recipe type: Breakfast, Side Dish, Vegetables,
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: Makes 8
Delicious savory breakfast pancakes made of fresh, shredded zucchini squash, seasoned with fragrant basil, and topped with a tahini sauce sweetened with a touch of maple syrup. So simple, with only 4 ingredients! Gluten-free/Paleo.
  • For the pancakes:
  • drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large zucchini, shredded and squeezed of excess water
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 T. coconut flour
  • ¼ c. fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • For the sweet tahini sauce:
  • 1 T. tahini
  • 1 T. maple syrup
  • juice of 1 small orange
  • 1 T. brown rice flour
  1. For the pancakes, heat a large, non-stick skillet over medium heat with the evoo.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Scoop the pancake batter out into the pan by rounded tablespoons.
  4. Cook for about 2-3 minutes on one side, then flip and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes or until lightly golden.
  5. For the sauce, place all of the ingredients in a small mixing bowl and whisk until smooth.
  6. Let the pancakes cool slightly, then top each with a dollop of sauce.

Nutritional Facts (for each pancake w/out sauce): Calories: 26, Total Fat: .9g, Total Carbs: 2.3g, Sodium: 23.6mg, Protein: 2.2g

Nutritional Facts (for the sauce (per 1 Tablespoon/makes 1/4 c. ): Calories: 44, Total Fat: 2g, Total Carb: 6g, Sugars: 3g, Protein: .8g


Family Function…Functional Family.

I LOOOOOOOVE family functions.

Especially family gatherings on Sunday.

In my extended family (the Italian side), we’ve always been accustomed to pasta dinners on Sunday.

Yesterday, we got together for a Sunday pasta potluck and played some outdoor games.

My mom was the ping-pong tourney champ.

You could hand that woman a polo stick and let her gallop on a donkey and she could be you at any sport…blind folded.

True stuff.

Of course, I had to bring dessert.


What? You think I was going to show up with a baked casserole?


Instead, I showed up with a cake…with vegetables.


Yes, I put zucchini in your cake.


Sue me. 🙂


I’m pretty much addicted to zucchini around the summer months, and this time around’ there is no exception.


I’m eating it every chance I can get. In my pancakes,


in my salads, and in my cake.


Putting zucchini in my cake is one of my favorite past-times. Plus…I mean it seriously makes for the most melt in your mouth cake experience…EVER.


This wouldn’t be a cake without a glaze…


a creamy maple coconut yogurt glaze.


Yea, that So Delicious Greek Style Coconut Milk Yogurt  has definitely got a hold on my heart.


And my sweet tooth. 🙂


I would get some pretty devilish looks if I showed up empty handed to a family function.


I might even get kicked out.


I could only hope ;).


Veggies are the new fruit…put em’ in your dessert!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Paleo Zucchini Bundt Cake
Recipe type: Dessert, Cake
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Deliciously melt in your mouth zucchini bundt cake covered in a dairy-free, coconut yogurt glaze that has been sweetened w/ a touch of maple syrup. Gluten-free & paleo.
  • For the cake:
  • ½ c. coconut flour
  • ½ c. almond flour
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. ground cinnamon.
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ c. organic coconut sugar
  • ½ c. unsweetened, vanilla almond milk
  • ⅓ c. melted coconut oil
  • 1 large zucchini, grated and squeezed of excess water
  • For the maple coconut milk yogurt glaze:
  • 1 6 oz. container So Delicious Plain Greek Cultured Coconut Milk Yogurt
  • 2 T. pure maple syrup
  • 1 t. pure vanilla extract
  1. For the cake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a large bundt cake pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon.
  3. Mix in the eggs, sugar, almond milk, and coconut oil, stirring until just combined.
  4. Fold in the grated zucchini.
  5. Pour the cake batter into the prepared bundt pan.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  7. Let the cake cool completely before removing and frosting.
  8. For the glaze, put all of the ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and whisk until smooth.
  9. Evenly pour and spread the glaze out over the cake.
  10. Serve.

 Nutritional Facts (1/10th of cake): Calories: 213, Total Fat: 15g (8.6 g saturated fat), Total Carb: 16g, Sugars: 4.6g, Protein: 7.7g



Obviously I’m Italian…err…Italian-American…American-Italian? Whatevs. You have probably read my blog long enough to know that my ancestors are from that boot.

So, accordingly…I love me some Italian food.

Not a big fan of pasta though. Can’t even remember when I last had it.

So, that probably makes me about 1% Italian because seriously? What kind of Italian doesn’t like pasta.

Maybe I should say I don’t like spaghetti…dear Lawd…who am I kidding?

I’d much rather have pizza or meatballs covered with sauce, Italian green beans, stuffed artichokes, and ummmm eggplant.

Eggplant should have been my middle name.

I love me the melanzane.

How’s that for Italian, eh?

Anyway, I have been day dreaming about my next vacation which will involve some beach in Italy.

Just haven’t decided where yet.

Any reccs?

Hello, basil! One of my fave herbs.


We are totally making a pesto sauce here.


Ummm…totally dairy-free. You won’t even notice. Basil, spinach, arugula, etc. etc.


But the pesto sauce would be nothing without this simple roasted eggplant.


So tender, so savory, so simple.


I’ve thought about taking culinary classes on my trip to Italy.


Let me let you in on a little secret…I’m terrified that those voluptuous “Sophia Loren”, never aged a day, 60 year old nonna’s will chew me up, spit me out, and curse my Italian cuisine.


They would probably tell me to pack my bags and find the nearest McDonald’s.


News flash: haven’t eaten there in eternity.


But alas…I cannot fret because those are just my fears…doesn’t mean they will actually manifest themselves.


Seriously though, I would probably be bff’s with those cooking school women and find myself


knee deep in a bucket of homemade salted caramel gelato.


I do hope it’s true that every meal is eaten with a glass of wine.

Who wants to join me?


5.0 from 1 reviews
Roasted Eggplant Stacks w/ a Dairy-Free Pesto Sauce
Recipe type: Side Dish, Appetizer, Vegetables
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
Delicate rounds of roasted eggplant smothered in a silky, dairy-free pesto sauce made of basil, spinach, and arugula. Gluten-free, vegan, and paleo!
  • For the eggplant:
  • 2 large eggplants, cut crosswise into rounds
  • extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
  • fine sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • For the pesto:
  • 1 c. freshly packed basil leaves
  • 1 c. fresh spinach
  • 1 c. fresh arugula
  • 3 T. raw, unsalted almonds
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • juice of 1 mandarin orange
  • ¼ t. fine sea salt
  • ¼-1/2 c. unsweetened, plain almond milk
  1. For the eggplant, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Place the eggplant rounds on the prepared baking sheets, brush each side of the eggplant rounds with the evoo, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until lightly golden on both sides. Flip the rounds halfway through the baking process.
  4. For the pesto sauce, place all of the ingredients except for the almond milk, in a large food processor.
  5. Process on high until a smooth paste forms.
  6. Then, with the food processor still running, slowly stream in the almond milk, starting with ¼ c. and gradually adding more until you reach your desired consistency.
  7. I used ½ c. which I felt created just a silky enough sauce that wasn't too drippy.
  8. Place about ½ to 1 tablespoon of the sauce on each eggplant round and stack them. I say about 2-3 stacks per person.
  9. Garnish with freshly chopped basil and sprinkle with a bit of freshly grated Parmesan if desired.